Advent – Wednesday, December 22

Author: Jimmy Holbrook

Psalm 80

Reflection: v. 7, ‘Restore us, O God’

This psalm says ‘restore us, O God of hosts, let your face shine that we might be saved.’ It says that twice, and so I think that’s what the whole thing is about. God’s face shines on us that we may be saved and understand what God wants us to do.

It also says ‘O Lord, God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?’ That’s an interesting thing to think about. At this church we don’t think of God as angry. So what does that mean? With my background in the church, I sometimes think God is angry. Sometimes people do things that are wrong. And sometimes people pray for the wrong things–they pray for selfish things instead of praying for understanding and wisdom. So, I think God gets frustrated by their prayers. I have experienced a lot of hurt in my life because of other people. Sometimes it is hard for me to understand how God loves even those who hurt others.

I understand why in this church [Mercy Church] we preach very differently than in other places. Our group is down and out already–the world has already kicked them down and out, so you don’t need to preach the Hell thing or God’s anger. But when you’re sitting with a group of people who has so much more than us and they’re still cold-hearted toward their neighbors? Maybe they need to hear that God is frustrated. God save us. Save us from the ways we hurt one another.

Prayer Restore us, O God. Save us from the ways we hurt one another.

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